"Do users do what they think they do?"-A comparative study of user perceived and actual information searching behaviour in the National electronic Library of Infection

Anjana Roy*, Patty Kostkova, Mike Catchpole, Ewart Carson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the last decade, the Internet has profoundly changed the delivery of healthcare. Medical websites for professionals and patients are playing an increasingly important role in providing the latest evidence-based knowledge for professionals, facilitating virtual patient support groups, and providing an invaluable information source for patients. Information seeking is the key user activity on the Internet. However, the discrepancy between what information is available and what the user is able to find has a profound effect on user satisfaction. The UK National electronic Library of Infection (NeLI, www.neli.org.uk) and its subsidiary projects provide a single-access portal for quality-appraised evidence in infectious diseases. We use this national portal, as test-bed for investigating our research questions. In this paper, we investigate actual and perceived user navigation behaviour that reveals important information about user perceptions and actions, in searching for information. Our results show: (i) all users were able to access information they were seeking; (ii) broadly, there is an agreement between "reported" behaviour (from questionnaires) and "observed" behaviour (from web logs), although some important differences were identified; (iii) both browsing and searching were equally used to answer specific questions and (iv) the preferred route for browsing for data on the NeLI website was to enter via the "Top Ten Topics" menu option. These findings provide important insights into how to improve user experience and satisfaction with health information websites.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectronic Healthcare - Second International ICST Conference, eHealth 2009, Revised Selected Papers
Pages96-103
Number of pages8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event2nd International ICST Conference on Electronic Healthcare, eHealth 2009 - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 23 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Publication series

NameLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering
Volume27 LNICST
ISSN (Print)1867-8211

Conference

Conference2nd International ICST Conference on Electronic Healthcare, eHealth 2009
Country/TerritoryTurkey
CityIstanbul
Period23/09/0925/09/09

Keywords

  • Digital library
  • Evaluation
  • User perceived and actual behaviour

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